\ ˈslik How to pronounce slick (audio) \

Definition of slick

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : having a smooth surface : slippery slick wet leaves
b : having surface plausibility or appeal : glossy slick advertising
c : based on stereotype : trite slick stories soon forgotten
2a : characterized by subtlety or nimble wit : clever especially : wily a slick swindler
b : deft, skillful a slick ballplayer
3 : extremely good : first-rate
4 archaic : sleek sense 1


slicked; slicking; slicks

Definition of slick (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

: to make sleek or smooth

intransitive verb

: spruce usually used with up



Definition of slick (Entry 3 of 4)

1a : something that is smooth or slippery especially : a smooth patch of water covered with a film of oil
b : a film of oil
2 : an automobile tire made without a tread for maximum traction (as in drag racing)
3 : an implement for producing a smooth or slick surface
4 : a shrewd untrustworthy person
5 : a popular magazine printed on coated stock and intended to appeal to sophisticated readers
6 slang : a military helicopter without armaments that is used to transport troops or light cargo



Definition of slick (Entry 4 of 4)

informal, dated
: in a smooth or clever manner "I must say they did it slick enough. They were old hands at the business."— Jack London

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from slick


slick adverb
slickly adverb
slickness noun

Synonyms for slick

Synonyms: Adjective

greased, greasy, lubricated, oiled, slicked, slippery, slippy, slithery

Synonyms: Verb

grease, lubricate, oil, wax

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for slick


sleek, slick, glossy mean having a smooth bright surface or appearance. sleek suggests a smoothness or brightness resulting from attentive grooming or physical conditioning. a sleek racehorse slick suggests extreme smoothness that results in a slippery surface. slipped and fell on the slick floor glossy suggests a highly reflective surface. photographs having a glossy finish

sly, cunning, crafty, wily, tricky, foxy, artful, slick mean attaining or seeking to attain one's ends by guileful or devious means. sly implies furtiveness, lack of candor, and skill in concealing one's aims and methods. a sly corporate raider cunning suggests the inventive use of sometimes limited intelligence in overreaching or circumventing. the cunning fox avoided the trap crafty implies cleverness and subtlety of method. a crafty lefthander wily implies skill and deception in maneuvering. the wily fugitive escaped the posse tricky is more likely to suggest shiftiness and unreliability than skill in deception and maneuvering. a tricky political operative foxy implies a shrewd and wary craftiness usually involving devious dealing. a foxy publicity man planting stories artful implies indirectness in dealing and often connotes sophistication or cleverness. elicited the information by artful questioning slick emphasizes smoothness and guile. slick operators selling time-sharing

Examples of slick in a Sentence


Be careful as you drive home—the roads are slick. big corporations and their slick lawyers The new kid had some slick moves on the basketball court. The students did a slick job of promoting the concert. The video game has slick graphics.


The rain slicked the roads. slicking the bottom of their skis with wax
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Some roads are sure to be slick, many schools are canceled or delayed, and some bus lines are canceled or detoured because of road conditions., "Snow in Portland: Everything you need to know for Wednesday," 21 Feb. 2018 The movie is sometimes slick (the musical cues are pretty lame) to a fault — just like Skiles. Gary Thompson,, "'Beirut': Jon Hamm is in his sweet spot in this slick thriller," 10 Apr. 2018 This juxtaposition—photos of slick finish hung on a stripped structure—suggests a disconnect. Laura Jacobs, WSJ, "‘Eckhaus Latta: Possessed’ Review: Sustainability for Sale," 13 Aug. 2018 Gabriel Jesus gave Brazil the lead after 36 minutes with a slick finish from a tight angle. Eric Willemsen,, "Neymar shines as Brazil beats Austria 3-0 in final World Cup warmup," 10 June 2018 In the Pacific Northwest, lows plunged into the teens in Seattle, making roads slick and closing schools throughout the area for a second day. Gillian Flaccus, The Seattle Times, "Snow in San Francisco? Mild cities don’t escape winter storm," 6 Feb. 2019 Likewise, the Laptop 2’s trackpad is glass-covered, very slick, and very comfortable to use. Dan Seifert, The Verge, "Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 review: if it ain’t broke," 16 Oct. 2018 Mayor Kline is a handsome, slick, and sleazy '80s politician who's more concerned with his own image than with the citizens of Hawkins. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Here's Everything We Know About "Stranger Things" Season 3 So Far," 16 July 2018 Excellent stage presence, strong voice, and slick moves — the Peacock can do no wrong. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "See Who Is Still Left on 'The Masked Singer'," 9 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The makeup mogul also donned long blonde locks that were slicked back into a ponytail. Morgan M. Evans, Fox News, "Kylie Jenner's 21st bash shut down by cops; Instagram model wheeled out on stretcher," 11 Aug. 2018 Salemme, who headed the New England family of La Costa Nostra in the early 1990s, was sitting at a table with his lawyers several feet away, with slicked-back wisps of grey hair, a brown jacket and blue tie. Washington Post, "The Rifleman takes stand against ex-New England Mafia boss," 6 June 2018 For his upcoming film The Beach Bum, Zac has been sporting a tousled ‘do with blonde highlights, slicked up and often held in place with a brightly colored sports band. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Zac Efron's Hair for "The Beach Bum" Was Inspired By a Panini," 16 Mar. 2019 Kim opted for a slicked-back, almost wet look hairdo and a dramatic eye to complement her look and the futuristic theme of the 2016 Met Gala, Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jennifer Lopez's Oscar Gown Might Have Been Inspired By Kim Kardashian," 25 Feb. 2019 In his temporary role as Fred Andrews, KJ has ditched Archie's infamous red hair, and instead wears a very slicked back 'do. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Here’s Your First Look at the “Riverdale” Cast in the Upcoming Throwback Episode," 16 Oct. 2018 Working her hair magic, Ariana slicked the style back, with not a strand out of place. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Wore a Twisted Bun During a Shopping Trip," 22 Oct. 2018 His slicked-back hair is not unlike the 1950s 'do that his character has been known to wear. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The Cast of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Has Arrived at the 2019 Golden Globes Looking Amazing," 7 Jan. 2019 The streets were rain-slicked and icy, but in Marunouchi, safely in the US zone of Tokyo, that was no deterrent. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Two unlikely cops are paired up to solve murders in a war-torn Tokyo in Ninth Step Station," 8 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Buttery Skin makeup look is all about layering makeup on your skin for the appearance of slick, smooth texture and natural sheen. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Physicians Formula Just Dropped Murumuru Baby Butter Box, a Super-Affordable Makeup Kit," 19 Apr. 2019 Las Vegas is enticing a different crowd these days with high-end art installations, buzzy restaurants, and now, a slick The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails out of the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. Olivia Martin, Town & Country, "The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails Opens at the Cosmopolitan," 20 Mar. 2019 Futuristic Hair Is More Sculptural (and Shiny!) Than Ever Individual texture has, at long last, become a runway mainstay, and Proenza Schouler's parade of futuristic, hyper-individual slick backs felt refreshingly raw. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "9 Beauty Trends That Blew Up on the Fall 2019 Runways," 8 Mar. 2019 Behind the big pushrod V8 is a superb seven-speed manual gearbox, with a heavy clutch and a slick, notchless gate (an eight-speed automatic, pictured here, is also available). Dan Neil, WSJ, "2019 Corvette ZR1: The Last, and Best, of Its Kind," 28 Nov. 2018 Still, Sean Kuraly found some open ice in front of Andersen and fired in a one-timer off of Matt Grzelcyk’s slick back-handed feed with less than three minutes to go in the second. Tyler Horka,, "Stanley Cup Playoffs Roundup: Toronto Stops Late Surge From Boston to Force Game 6," 21 Apr. 2018 There’s the slick, young emcee, orchestrating the show one minute and singing in a sweet tenor the next. New York Times, "Fun Things to Do This Weekend: Pride, Summer Solstice and Sensory Overload in Brighton Beach," 21 June 2018 Contractors will grind a slick 3-mile stretch of concrete pavement that contributed to a pair of truck crashes last week. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Slippery I-90 lane closed for emergency fix in Cle Elum," 9 Oct. 2018 After grabbing the slick and shifty Denisenko with the No. Craig Davis,, "Panthers emphasize offense in NHL draft, nab forwards with top four of six picks," 23 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'slick.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of slick


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1825, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for slick


Middle English slyke; akin to Old English *slician


Middle English sliken, from Old English *slician; akin to Old High German slīhhan to glide

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about slick

Statistics for slick

Last Updated

13 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for slick

The first known use of slick was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for slick



English Language Learners Definition of slick

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: very smooth and slippery
: clever in usually a dishonest or deceptive way
: skillful and clever



English Language Learners Definition of slick (Entry 2 of 3)

: to make (something) smooth and slippery



English Language Learners Definition of slick (Entry 3 of 3)

: a thin layer of liquid that makes a surface very slippery
: a smooth tire that is used in car racing


\ ˈslik How to pronounce slick (audio) \
slicked; slicking

Kids Definition of slick

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make sleek or smooth He slicked his hair.



Kids Definition of slick (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : having a smooth surface : slippery slick pavement
2 : tricky sense 2 a slick salesman
3 : having skill and cleverness She made some slick moves during the game.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on slick

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with slick

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for slick

Spanish Central: Translation of slick

Nglish: Translation of slick for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slick for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about slick

Comments on slick

What made you want to look up slick? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a payment or contribution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!